NYC’s New Short-Term Rental Registration Law Explained

Overview of Local Law 18

As the bustling metropolis of New York City continues to evolve, so do its laws and regulations, particularly those governing the real estate market. One significant legislative change that has recently come into effect is Local Law 18, which pertains to short-term rental properties in the city.

This law introduces a new registration requirement for hosts and imposes restrictions on booking platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. Understanding the nuances of Local Law 18 is crucial for property owners, real estate licensees, and short-term rental hosts operating within the city.

Registration Requirements and Enforcement

Effective January 9, 2022, Local Law 18 mandates that all short-term rental hosts register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE). The law defines a short-term rental as any rental period less than 30 days. As of September 5, 2023, the OSE has initiated the enforcement phase, focusing on ensuring booking platforms comply with the city’s verification system and cease processing transactions for unregistered rentals.

Hosts must now include their registration number in all advertisements and maintain visible emergency exit diagrams and registration certificates within their rental units.

Send Real Estate Forms in Seconds. Cribfox banner ad, horizontal.Key Restrictions and Host Obligations

Local Law 18 sets forth several critical restrictions for short-term rentals. Notably, no more than two paying guests are allowed at any given time, the host must be physically present during the rental period, and all interior doors must remain unlocked to provide full access to the unit.

Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to substantial civil penalties, up to $5,000 or three times the revenue generated from the rental for each violation. However, the law does not impose fines on short-term tenants themselves.

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Prohibited Buildings and Exemptions

The OSE is also tasked with maintaining a Prohibited Buildings list, which identifies buildings where short-term rentals are explicitly forbidden.

This includes properties governed by specific laws, such as those under the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) or rent-regulated buildings, as well as those restricted by leases or occupancy agreements.

Additionally, “Class B” legal occupancy dwellings, such as hotels and boarding houses, are exempt from the law, as are rentals that last for 30 consecutive days or more.

Send Personalized Email Blasts. Cribfox banner ad, horizontal.Guidance for Real Estate Licensees

Real estate professionals considering listing properties for short-term rentals must be well-informed about Local Law 18 to avoid penalties and fines for licensing violations.

It is imperative to ensure that any unit being listed is properly registered with the OSE. Due diligence and adherence to the new guidelines are essential for licensees to maintain compliance and avoid working with violators of the law.

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Navigating the Short-Term Rental Landscape

Local Law 18 represents a significant shift in the short-term rental landscape of New York City. For hosts, real estate licensees, and booking platforms, it is vital to stay abreast of these changes and to operate within the legal framework established by the city.

By doing so, stakeholders can continue to participate in the short-term rental market while ensuring the safety, fairness, and legality of their transactions.

For further details and the full text of the law, interested parties are encouraged to review the final rules published by the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

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